Marco Silva says his players need to react following a sixth game without a win and has emphatically dismissed any suggestion linking a downturn in results with Everton’s failed attempts to lure him to Goodison Park.

The Portugese was the well-publicised target for the Goodison Park hierarchy as a replacement for Ronald Koeman and it was claimed Silva was interested in talking to the Toffees, but Watford stood firm in their refusal to entertain an approach for the man they only appointed in the summer.

Although the Hornets beat West Ham United and Newcastle United in the wake of Everton’s approach, they have not won in six outings, but Silva rubbished suggestions the interest from Merseyside had led to a destabilising effect at Vicarage Road and instead pointed to the list of injuries and suspensions he is having to contend with.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Silva after this aftenoon’s 1-0 defeat at Brighton. “You don’t know myself, you don’t know how I work and nothing has changed in the club.

“What has changed now and what is different now; if you want to talk I’m here to find solutions and not excuses for our last results, but today we had one game to prepare with three players banned, with five or six players injured.

“Of course we are stronger if we have almost all the players available but at this moment we have big problems to find the solution for a starting XI and you need to find this solution as soon as possible because there’s a lot of games in a row and it’s not easy to make the rotation.

“It’s not an excuse because the players who played this afternoon have quality as well. It is the moment for them to show it and now is the moment for us to react as a team and to prove in the next game what we need to do.”